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The Sysops Speak - Tips from the Techies

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Posted: 14 Sep 2004

The SysOps Speak ... Tips from our Techies

A few of our Novell Forum Volunteer Sysops recently contributed some tips on success in troubleshooting and problem solving. Here they are, in two categories: General and eDirectory.


* Stay current but not too current! For instance, when a new Service Pack comes out, don't apply it right away -- wait a couple of weeks first. And keep an eye on the forum to see if anyone reports an issue during that time period. On the other hand, you shouldn't be more than 2 or 3 SPs behind the current one.

* Spend 15 minutes every day browsing through the forums ... this helps to keep you up to date with possible issues with SPs and learn to avoid repeating the same error that someone else made.

* Use a newsreader, not the web interface. Using an offline reader is so much more efficient. For a list of suggested Newsreaders, see the forum web pages.

* Search through the forums using Google before posting a new question. Chances are that it has been asked before and been answered.

* Remember that the Sysops are volunteers and that they are spread around the globe. You may be sitting in San Francisco anxiously awaiting a reply from me (in Europe), not realising that I am 10 hours ahead of you and thus asleep.

* Try to provide enough, but not too much detail. Posting "My thing is broke" will not be a good basis for further troubleshooting. Try to provide at least the relevant versions and servicepacks ("running iFolder 1.x on NW6 Sp3", etc.). Also answer the question "Has it ever worked, and if yes, what has changed". Doing so will help us find an answer quicker, especially considering time-zone differences above.

* Tell us if you change anything midair. I once helped a client troubleshoot a problem with NW6 and iFolder 1.x and saw some really strange issues, then he admitted having upgraded to NW 6.5 and iFolder 2.x while we were troubleshooting.


* Don't load DSREPAIR with the advanced option flag automatically. Should only do that when you have a specific repair task in mind.

* Be patient! eDirectory has built-in self-healing routines. Whenever you see DSTrace report "an error", don't think right away that there is a real issue (of course, that depends on the error code). However, give it 10-15 minutes and see if the error persists.

* Develop and implement a regular eDirectory health check procedure.

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